I Want to Help a Friend or Relative Manage Their Affairs
There are options for assisting people who have not made personal planning documents in advance, and need help now to deal with their financial, legal, health and/or personal affairs. If the person is considered mentally capable, see the options in the question I want to get my affairs in order in case I become incapable. If the person needs help with making decisions due to a condition that has affected their mental capability, some of the options are:
- Representation Agreement Section 7 (RA7): The RA7 would allow your friend or relative to appoint one or more representatives to assist in making the following:
- routine financial decisions (e.g. managing pension deposits and paying bills)
- legal decisions (e.g. hiring a lawyer)
- health care decisions (e.g. medications, tests, dental visits)
- personal care decisions (e.g. living arrangements, exercise)
- Committeeship: Committeeship is a formal procedure to apply for adult guardianship, where the adult is declared mentally incompetent and a "committee" is appointed by BC Supreme Court to manage their affairs. Committeeship removes the adult's decision-making ability and is a 'last resort' option.
Representation Agreement Section 7 (RA7)
- See the publication Representation Agreement Overview to consider the options and help you determine if an RA7 is the right choice.
- Identify the potential representative(s), alternates and monitor. There are multiple roles that people can have in the agreement.
- Make a Representation Agreement. See the resource Legal forms for Representation Agreements which contain guidance and standard forms for different types of Representation Agreements. You can also get help from a lawyer or notary who is familiar with drafting personal planning documents.
|You must be at least 19 years of age to make a Representation Agreement in British Columbia.|
- See the publications Committeeship and the Private Committee Handbook for more information.
- Consult with a lawyer about the procedures to apply to Supreme Court, which include obtaining sworn statements (affidavits) from one or usually two doctor(s) licensed to practice in BC and costs several thousand dollars.
Where to get help
See the Resource List in this Guide for a list of helpful resources. Your best bets are:
- Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry: Free DIY RA7 forms, 20 minute appointments for personal help (in person in Vancouver or over the phone), webinars
- Types of Planning: Personal Planning & Estate Planning – this resource provides a good introduction and overview of the personal planning documents available in BC.
- The Nidus Personal Planning Registry is a service of the Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre. The Registry lets you store your personal planning information, copies of your completed document(s), and other important documents like wills.
- Access Pro Bono, Lawyer Referral Service, private bar lawyers.
Before meeting with a lawyer or advocate, complete the form Preparing for Your Interview included in this Guide. Make sure you bring copies of all documents relating to your case.
|This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Audrey Jun, March 2017.|
|Legal Help for British Columbians © Cliff Thorstenson and Courthouse Libraries BC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.|
In family law, this usually refers to one party obtaining a part of the property at issue before the property has been finally divided by court order or the parties' agreement.
A person licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction. See "barrister and solicitor."
In law, a judge's conclusions after hearing argument and considering the evidence presented at a trial or an application; a judgment; the judge's reasons. A judge's written or oral decision will include the judge's conclusions about the relief or remedies claimed as well as their findings of fact and conclusions of law. A written decision is called the judge’s "reasons for judgment." See "common law," "conclusions of law," and "findings of fact."
Normally referred to as the "Supreme Court of British Columbia," this court hears most court proceedings in this province. The Supreme Court is a court of inherent jurisdiction and is subject to no limits on the sorts of claims it can hear or on the sorts of orders it can make. Decisions of the Provincial Court are appealed to the Supreme Court; decisions of the Supreme Court are appealed to the Court of Appeal. See "Court of Appeal," "jurisdiction," "Provincial Court" and "Supreme Court of Canada."
A calculation of the allowable legal expenses of a party to a court proceeding, as determined by the Supreme Court Family Rules. The party who is most successful in a court proceeding is usually awarded their "costs" of the proceeding. See "account, "bill of costs," "certificate of costs," and "lawyer's fees."
In law, the physical railing separating the public gallery in a courtroom from the area where the judge and lawyers sit; lawyers as a group; where lawyers go after work.
A lawyer or a person other than a lawyer who helps clients with legal issues; to argue a position on behalf of a client.
In law, a court proceeding; a lawsuit; an action; a cause of action; a claim. Also the historic decisions of the court. See "action," "case law, " "court proceeding," and "precedent."